The thought of having to put a loved one in a nursing home can be devastating. It effects both the person who is going in and also the lives of the family members that are involved in the decision. It can cause a sense of abandonment and depression to the loved one and a sense of guilt on the family members. Weighing the pro’s and con’s can weigh heavily and take it’s toll. How can this be made easier?
If at all possible, find a nursing home that is close to you and other family members. This way visiting will be easier. You can also keep an eye on the outlook of your loved one. You can see if she’s eating and if she’s being well taken care of. The good thing about nursing homes is that they do provide around the clock care and visits from the doctor when needed. Medication is given on a regular schedule. If your loved one is ill the comfort of knowing that medical care is right at hand is a relief. When the nursing facility is close to where the family members live, then you can provide emotional support that is more homelike than in a hospital setting.
Most of the nursing homes have activities for their residents and encourage socializing. Some nursing homes have therapeutic and indoor recreational facilities. Some even have swimming pools. They may have programs for entertainment and church services.
Dietitians and nutritionists oversee the diets of the residents to make sure your loved one gets what they need. This could be difficult if they would be living with you. Their diet could be something you may not be able to fix properly yourself. Sometimes taking care of aged people at home requires heavy lifting, something you may not be able to do. Nursing homes are better equipped to move residents that aren’t ambulatory.
Some of the concerns of placing your loved ones in a nursing home are legitimate. Perhaps you can’t find one that is near enough where you live to be able to visit every day. They may not understand why there are being taken from their home and “put away”. They may become depressed and it could worsen their health. There are concerns about various forms of abuse such as physical, verbal, sexual and financial. Unfortunately, many victims of abuse are afraid to say anything because of being threatened by abusive staff members which result in more abuse and injuries. If family members suspect their loved one is being abused, they should report it immediately to authorities.
So how do you know if you’re doing the right thing? You have to sit down and think of the cost and benefits of having your loved one is a nursing facility. Careful thought is required because you’re talking about the health and well being of someone you love which is your main concern. Investigating the nursing home you’re thinking about, talking to other residents relatives and getting referrals are some ways to make sure you’re making the right choice in nursing homes. Try to find the best one in your area that the budget will allow and you won’t have to be worried about whether your loved one is receiving quality care.
By Linda Lee Ruzicka
Linda Lee Ruzicka lives in the mountains of Western PA , happily married and with her 8 cats and three dogs. She has been published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Writing Village, June Cotner anthology, The Grit, Reminisce , the book, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family. She also does freelances work for Beyond and Healthcarejobsite. You can read more of her blogs on Healthcarejobsite blog.